Post pandemic mentors: 5 ways to get the very best.
The COVID pandemic has caused unbelievable discontinuity into the world. Organizations have had to pivot to new business models, business supply costs have increased with consumers having to pay higher prices for goods and services and the norms for social interaction have changed substantially.
And for people in the hunt for a satisfying and rewarding career, things look a lot different.
Specifically, the process of finding a mentor requires a careful review because the pandemic is forcing a different approach to seeking a coach and advisor to help us continue to make wise career choices.
Here are 5 NEW steps you should take to find a mentor as you navigate your way through the pandemic.
1. Find a survivor leader
Find an organization that is surviving the pandemic chaos and figure out a way to get close to its leader.
These people house the secrets of staying alive when they have no control over the unexpected blows inflicted upon them. These astonishing leaders figured out how to harness the negative energy of the unexpected and turn it into a successful outcome for themselves.
These leaders are a gift to the young professional, for they have achieved what few others have in the environment that will define the future for any organization.
Their advice, help and guidance is invaluable to anyone looking to build a successful career in the face of this uncertainty.
And focus on the small businesses that are surviving—restaurants for example—to get the real visceral ‘in the moment’ actions they took to stay alive. The leaders of these businesses have zero cushion for failure (unlike larger organizations) and are therefore able to provide more meaningful tactical guidance.
2. Find a caregiver
Find an organization whose employees give amazing shoutouts to the managers in it for their care and empathy. Use social media to get a conversation going on the ‘stars’ who actually give a damn about their employees and who make a priority of caring about their comfort and well-being.
Caregivers are great sources of valuable counsel; their sensitivity and empathy is the essence of what they can offer a young professional aspiring an improved leadership role.
3. Find a ‘repeat offender’
Find an organization that tried a number of potential ways to beat the pandemic and eventually struck one that worked.
And look for the person—the repeat offender—who was at the heart of the failure process but persisted until they discovered a successful solution to their challenge for survival.
This is a mentor who is worth their weight in gold. Winning is all about the number of tries you make and the willingness to absorb the pain of momentary failure, so if you can find and get close to one of these amazing people you will reap the rewards over and over and over again.
4. Find an analyst
Find a ‘pandemic student’; someone who has analyzed and studied what it takes to survive the pandemic and befriend them.
It’s not that they will necessarily have the right survival solution for you, but they may have clues based on their studies as to what might work for you.
You’re not looking for the precise prescription for your malady, you want possibilities based on informed opinion; the analyst is such a person.
Cast your mentor net far and wide; you’ll be surprised with what you catch.
5. Find an outlier
Find an organization that basically threw out their business plan and decided to not just pivot, but to reinvent themselves and take a completely different direction.
It’s not easy spotting these organizations because most look for the incremental change—pivot—rather than the metamorphosis.
The influencers—outliers—that are behind such changes are home run mentors. They present dramatic possibilities to the young professional which serve as another perspective anyone looking to enhance their career should consider.
I’m a fan of looking for the upside when confronted with the downside; looking for the pony that created the crap one is buried in.
The pandemic is forcing all of us to look at things differently, to look for opportunities to not only survive but to thrive.
And opportunities abound when it comes to discovering a mentor who can help our careers and our lives.
Follow my 5 simple suggestions and you’ll be looking at your career competitors over your shoulder.